August 1, 2010

What are we doing this year?

Who knows?  Well, I do.  Mostly.  Here's what I do know....and for reference the boys are ages 10, 9, 6 and 4 (although the 4-yr-old doesn't do anything structured).

Math:  Everyone will continue with RightStart Math.  We are loving it.

Science:  We are finishing up Apologia Astronomy and will do chemistry next.  Our main spines will by Real Science 4 Kids Pre-level 1 and Level 1 and well as The Elements by Ellen McHenry.  We may or may not do Carbon Chemistry after that.  We will be using many of the books and videos from this list.  When we're done with chemistry we'll pick something else.  We usually don't decide until about 3 weeks before we're done with the last topic.

History:  We just fought the battle at Bunker Hill and are moving on from there, using this list.  We may or may not finish American History this 'school year'.  From American History we will move to Modern World History.

Reading:  My younger son is using the Now I'm Reading series by Nora Gaydos along with Happy Phonics and the Explode the Code books.  The older boys do their Explode the Code books - one son decided to do 10 pages a week, the other wants to do 5.  One boy (the 10-yr old) reads to me from a book of his choice, the 9-yr-old reads on his own (he's always reading so I don't worry much about him anymore).

Handwriting:  Younger son is using Handwriting Without Tears.  Older boys do copywork.  They have made a goal to do 2 copywork pieces a day (they choose from our copywork jars).  One son has opted to learn cursive so he is doing some practice lines every day.

Spelling:  The older boys will continue in All About Spelling.  Younger boy will start in the next few months.

Grammar:  The older two made a goal to do 3 lessons a week in Growing With Grammar.  My younger son doesn't do grammar yet.  We all do Mad Libs though.  That counts, right?

Read-alouds:  We are working our way through two different lists.  One is for the younger boys (although the older boys listen all the time), the other is geared towards the older boys, but the younger boys listen in too.

Geography:  I still haven't figured out how to work this into the day/week.  We do map drills on Friday, but.....I'm still working on it.  We tend to get really caught up in an area and our other work doesn't get done.  I've been thinking about going to a 6 week schedule where we'd work for 6 weeks then take one week "off", but that week would be devoted to geography.  I have Galloping the Globe, which I want to use, I'm just trying to figure out how to add in one more major subject without going crazy.

Artist:  We just finished da Vinci and will study as many of these guys as we can this year - Rembrandt Van Rijn, Botticelli (maybe), Caspar David Friedrich, van Gogh, Raphael, John Singer Sargent, and Claude Monet.  We use the Mike Venezia series Getting to Know the World's Greatest Artists and display the picture we're studying for a week or two.

Composer:  Just finished Handel and will work on Gluck, Haydn, Mozart, Schubert, Beethoven and Paganini this year.  We use the Mike Venezia series about composers for this, listen to the programs on Classics for Kids and listen to music during lunch.

As always, reviews for the various books we read will be available at Goodreads (see the button on the right).  I will also update the booklists after we finish a subject - I'll show what we liked, what we didn't, what we'll never use again and what we might try to find next time through.


  1. That is one thing I really struggle much to do but you can't do eveything in depth all at once, there just isn't enough hours in the day is there!

    I have been considering All About Spelling for awhile as it is a phonices based program. BUt I noticed you still also use separate phonics that doubling up somewhat or is All About Spelling definitely more spelling than phonics? Does that make sense?

  2. Lots of great ideas! I need to expose my children to art work more. I guess that means I need to learn it then. Sigh.

  3. Kylie - All About Spelling is very phonics based and in fact, she's writing a reading program to go along with the spelling one. I use a separate phonics program for a few reasons. 1 - I already own them. 2 - They have more "fun" activities and games which the younger kids love. 3 - You would need to add in more practice and activities in order to help the sounds stick if you just used the spelling program. It moves fairly quickly for a beginning reader (I think). You'd have to slow it down and I'm not really good at coming up with ideas on my own.

    The older boys were already reading when they started All About Spelling so it's a review and a way for them to learn the "rules" that phonics doesn't always explain. My 6-yr-old is the first one to come into it as a new reader. He's reading blends and most easy readers so I think he's ready to learn spelling rules.

    The ChatterBee forum for All About Spelling has a lot of great ideas for using it as a reading program and/or how to use it with younger vs. older kids.

    I hope that made some sort of sense.

  4. The Mother Who Knows - I know NOTHING about art. I learn along with them. I do pre-screen the paintings we display and the books we read out loud, but other than that it's all new to me!!!!

  5. Thank you so much for that I appreciate it. :)

  6. Looks like a great curriculum. Good luck with the start of your school year. I'm so excited to start. We'll be doing Pre-K and Tot School this year.

  7. Wow you have it all together... I thought your blog was called chaos?? ;) My 'curriculum' seems like a hodge podge of stuff when I look at so many others. But it works for us...for the most part :)
    Nice to see what you'll be doing, thanks for sharing :)

  8. I love how classical your curriculum is! Now a days children do not get classical reading in their teaching, great job!!! I am following you now! I look forward to reading more of your blog!


  9. Hi,
    I'm your newest follower.
    Have a blessed week.